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Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)/Bonn Convention

Why in news?

The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) observed on 11 May 2019 and is organized by the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) together with Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

About the news

  • It helps to raise global awareness about threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and need for international cooperation to conserve them.
  • Theme for the day was ‘Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!’.
  • Starting from 2018, the WMBD is celebrated twice a year.
  • The first WMBD was celebrated in 2006.
  • The CMS and AEWA are two International Wildlife Treaties which are administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

About CMS

  • The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is an international convention
 
  • which aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • It is an international treaty concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • It is also known as the Bonn Convention after the German city in which it was signed.

Objectives

  • It brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
  • The CMS is the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.

Uniqueness

  • It is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.
  • Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.
  • Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
  • CMS acts as a framework Convention as it encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional agreements.
  • The agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions.
Basel Convention

Why in news?

The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.

About the news

  • Parties to the Basel Convention have reached agreement on a legally-binding, globally-reaching mechanism for managing plastic waste.
  • Even though the U.S. and a few others have not signed the accord, they cannot ship plastic waste to countries that are on board with the deal.
  • The meeting also undertook to eliminate two toxic chemical groups, Dicofol and Perfluorooctanoic Acid.
 

About Basel Convention

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal is an international treatythat was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).
  • It is also known as the Basel Convention.
  • The Convention was opened for signature on 22 March 1989, and entered into force on 5 May 1992.
  • As of October 2018, 186 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention. 
  • Haitiand the United States have signed the Convention but not ratified

Objectives

  • Intend to minimize the amount and toxicityof wastes generated
  • Ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation
  • Assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate
  • It does not address the movement of radioactive waste

Conference of the Parties (COP)

  • The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the governing body of the Basel Convention.
  • It is composed of governments of countries that have accepted, ratified or acceded to it.
  • The implementation of the Convention is advanced through the decisions it takes at its meetings.
Asiatic Lion

Why in news?

The entire genome of Asiatic lion has been sequenced for the first time by scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

About Asiatic Lion

  • The Asiatic lion is a Panthera leo leo population in India.
  • Its range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat.
  • Only male lions boast manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles their heads.

Comparison with African Lions

  • Asiatic lions and African lions are subspecies of the same species.
  • Asian lions are slightly smaller than African lions.
  • Unlike African lions, the males do not tend to live with the females of their pride unless they’re mating or have a large kill.
  • Asian lions used to range from Turkey, across Asia, to eastern India.
  • The male Asiatic lion has a relatively short, sparse and darker mane compared to the fuller mane of the African lion.
  • As a result, the male Asiatic lion's ears tend to remain visible at all times.
  • The most distinguishing characteristic of the Asiatic lion is the longitudinal fold of skin that runs along its belly. This is absent in African lions.

Threats

  • Usual threats of poaching and habitat fragmentation.
  • Major roads and a railway trackpass through the Gir Protected Area (PA).
  • Big temples inside the Protected Areaattract large number of pilgrims.
  • There has been an increase in lion population, and more than 200 lions stay outside the PA.
  • Dying by falling into the unguarded wells around the Gir PA.
  • The Asiatic lion faces threat of genetic inbreedingarising from a single population in one place.

Conservation Status

  • Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
  • Listed in Appendix I of CITES.
  • Listed as Endangered on IUCN Red List.

Security

Apache Helicopter

Why in news?

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally received the first AH-64E (I)-Apache Guardian helicopter at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA.

About Apache Helicopter

  • It is an American attack helicopterwith twin-turbo shaft and tail wheel-type landing gear.
  • The helicopter is powered by two high-performance turbo shaft engines.
  • It has a maximum cruise speed of 284 km per hour or 152 knots.

Other Features

  • It has a cockpit for a crew of two and features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
  • It is armed with a chain gun and has systems for carrying armament and stores such as missiles and rocket
 
  • Apache has the capability of carrying out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
  • The helicopter also has the unique capacity to transmit and receive battlefield picture through data uplinking and networking.

World Affairs

Patriot Missile

Why in news?

U.S. positions Patriot missile off Iran.

About Patriot

  • Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense systemto counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise  missiles and advanced aircraft.
 
  • Patriot missile systems were deployed by US forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict.
  • The systems were stationed in Kuwait and successfully destroyed a number of hostile surface-to-surface missiles, using the new Patriot Advanced Capability-3and guidance enhanced missiles.

Other Air Defense system used in the region

  • The Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets. (Developed and Used by Israel)
  • The Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. (Developed and Used by Israel)
  • The David’s Sling missile defense system, designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles. (Developed and Used by Israel)
  • S-300 Missile Defense System. (Given by Russia to Syria)

Current Affair Capsules

Trimeresurus arunachalensis
  • It is India’s fifth brown pit viper named after the State of Arunachal Pradesh and the other four were Malabar, horseshoe, hump-nosed and Himalayan, discovered 70 years ago.
  • The new species also makes Arunachal Pradesh the only Indian state to have a pit viper named after it.
Smithophis atemporalis
  • It is a non-venomous species of ‘rain snake’ discovered in Mizoram named after eminent British herpetologist, Malcom A Smith.
  • The snake lacks temporal scales, which is characterised as extremely rare for the snake family.

Map Aided Programme

Manganese Mines in India
  • Kheonjar in Odisha
  • Rayagada Odisha
  • Sundergarh Odisha
  • Balaghat Madhyapradesh
  • Nagpur and Bhandara Maharashtra

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2018)

  1. Consider the following statements:
  2. The Barren island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian territory.
  3. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicrobar.
  4. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only               (b) 2 and                    

(c) 3 only               (d) 1 and 3